Back to school soon?

The holidays are coming to an end and it’s the best time to start reading and listening to videos and interviews in English. Just 15 minutes every day!

Here are a few links to help you

The British Council website has a video zone where you will find videos on lots of different topics and also listening skills practice (choose B1 or B2)

The BBC website has a « 6 minute English » series with extremely varied topics that will help you learn lots of new vocabulary

Film English is a website with short films in English

Enjoy the rest of your holidays! :-)

Is progress always positive?


Thank you « chbo78 » for suggesting these videos! They really help illustrate the negative aspects of the idea of progress: what negative impacts can progress have on our society and on our planet?

« Can we auto-correct humanity? »

« Dear future generations: sorry » 

« Why I think this world should end »

This is what I want this blog to be about: helping each other and sharing ideas (without paying!!)

Keep contributing!!

Another interesting report on the bad effects a smartphone can have on your sleep:

Red Nose Day – Friday 13th March 2015


On Friday 13th March 2015 it’s Red Nose Day in the UK! But what exactly is Red Nose Day and why does it take place?

The first Red Nose Day (RND) was held on 5 February 1988, when it was launched as a National Day of Comedy, and since then they have been on the second or third Friday in March. Red Nose Day is often treated as a semi-holiday for example, many schools have red-themed non-uniform days. The day culminates in a live telethon event on BBC One, starting in the evening and going through into the early hours of the morning, but other money-raising events take place. As the name suggests, the day involves the wearing of red noses which are available, in exchange for a donation, from supermarkets and charity shops.

Here are a few articles and links about this fun day!

A reading comprehension on the British Council website

The Official Red Nose Day Page

The official Comic Relief Page

Have some fun here

Improve your listening comprehension!


To help improve your listening comprehension here are a few links to pages where you will find videos in English. Please feel free to add any other links in the comments below!

– the brilliant website : which is updated regularly (and also gives lesson plans for teachers!)

– the British Council video zone – with listening comprehension exercises

– the British Council video UK – short videos about life and culture in the UK

– the BBC 6-minute English

– ESL listening comprehension – short film clips with listening comprehension exercises

Post your favourite English videos below!

The Ebola outbreak


The Ebola outbreak is currently in the news and even more so now that several cases have been detected in the USA.

What exactly is Ebola? Is there a cure to this deadly disease? How can countries work together to reduce the risk of the disease spreading?

Ebola – or Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) – is a really deadly virus: 50% to 90% of people who catch it die from it. But there are a few forms of the virus which have been identified by scientists and given the right medical care and treatment, you can recover. Ebola was first spotted in the African countries of Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976. In the space of five months in that year, 284 people in Sudan caught the virus. It killed 117 of them.

You can catch it through direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person such as blood and saliva. It is not airborne like the flu so is more difficult to catch but is very infectious: so infected people have to be kept separate to reduce the risk of it spreading. Healthcare workers who have looked after sick patients have also been infected.

For the moment there is no known cure however a new experimental drug, ZMapp, has been used in the US on health workers and a UK nurse who caught the disease in Africa. They recovered from the virus.

The World Health Organization warns greater global efforts are needed to combat the Ebola virus, which is spreading ever faster in West Africa despite efforts to contain it. Barack Obama and EU leaders took part in a videoconference on Wednesday 15th October to discuss the growing Ebola crisis following warnings that the outbreak could grow to 10,000 new cases a week within two months. They discussed what further action can be taken to help stop the spread of the virus in west Africa and how passengers arriving from Africa can be screened to prevent the disease spreading further.

Here are a few videos that explain more about this outbreak.

What is Ebola? – in 60 seconds 

An interactive video : Ebola – the virus posing a deadly threat to millions

Documents, videos and articles on the BBC website

Progress towards a vaccine : video

Vocabulary exercises about vaccines

Ideas for a debate about compulsory vaccinations